QUETTA: In continuation of Seminar held in April 2019 Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) organized a follow-up seminar here in Quetta on electoral and political rights of persons with disabilities. The stakeholders discussed in detail the issues surrounding disability and inclusion of PWDs.
Raja Shoaib Akbar, Senior Program Manager CPDI shared the status of legal structure supporting inclusion of PWDs and also discussed the legal and administrative reforms required for achieving mainstreaming of PWDs.
While welcoming the participants Mr.Mohammad Asif Provincial Coordinator CPDI stressed on the need to address the disability issues with rights and obligations approach instead of routine charity model.
Mr. Naimatullah representing the disability organizations stated that the disabled people were facing lot of difficulties in obtaining the disability certificate and special National Identity Card. He also stated that the political parties and the government functionaries must make sure participation of PWDS representatives in decision making so that their inclusion on the process is ensured. The NADRA representative Mr. Abdul Manan and Election Commission official Mr. Ikhlaq Ahmed gave their views on the matter and ensured that both institutions were determined to supporting the PWDs more effective participation in electoral process of Pakistan.
Mr. Nadeem Khan National Council Member of PTI said that there was great gap that required to be filled urgently. The government must take concrete steps for welfare of PWDs including and improve legal infrastructure to ensure participation of PWDs in electoral process. This could be initiated by making it mandatory for the political parties through law to establish and maintain disability wings and fix a reasonable percentage to PWDs in special quota seats and general seats as well, he further assured that being a coalition Partner he surely will bring the importance of the case infront of Health Minister and other relevant authorities so that one window operation can be started for obtaining special CNICs.
Mrs. Sumaira speaking on behalf of the government said government was doing its utmost to improve the plight of the PWDs and government was also aware of the need to strengthen efforts for mainstreaming of PWDs, she assured that she will highlight the issue and bring in the notice of CM.
While closing the seminar the chief guest Mr. Nadeem Khan appreciated the efforts of CPDI for organizing this seminar and said that a number of mainstreaming initiatives were under way. He promised that the issues raised in the seminar will not be forgotten and he would discuss them with the chief minister for further improvements.
Published in The Balochistan Point on June 28, 2019